Victorian shopping centres are emerging as the asset of choice for Chinese investors, with the $48 million sale of Arena Shopping Centre in Melbourne the latest in a series of transactions.
Over the past 15 months, Chinese investors have spent more than $380 million acquiring shopping centres across Victoria – highlighting the ongoing strength in investment appetite for well-located assets backed by strong tenancy profiles.
Located in the south-east suburb of Officer, on the corner of Princes Highway and Cardinia Road, Arena Shopping Centre is anchored by a 4,100 square metre Woolworths Supermarket and BWS on a 20-year lease.
The centre, which is positioned on a 2.97 hectare site, features 25 specialty retailers as well as a freestanding McDonald’s and Caltex Service Station, which are secured on 20-year and 15-year lease terms respectively.
The centre generates an annual income of $2.65 million per annum.
CBRE’s Mark Wizel, Justin Dowers and Kevin Tong negotiated the sale to a Mainland Chinese buyer from Shenzhen via an Expressions of Interest campaign.
Mr Dowers said the property attracted strong buyer interest, with the successful purchaser outbidding a number of local private groups, as well as Sydney-based institutions.
“The centre’s strategic corner position has always ensured a strong trade performance, which ultimately underpinned a huge amount of interest in the asset,” Mr Dowers said.
The sale reflected an initial yield of 5.38%, which took into account the larger than normal size of the centre when compared to other more traditional neighbourhood shopping centres in Victoria.
Mr Wizel said the sale of Arena Shopping Centre was a very strong statement for the overall confidence that buyers have for retail assets in Melbourne’s south eastern corridor.
“Only a few years ago, there were questions being raised around oversupply of retail centres in Pakenham itself but this part of Melbourne has just gone from strength to strength and, if anything, there is a widely accepted view in planning that more retail floor area is needed to service the booming population.”
Mr Dowers said the limited supply of neighbourhood shopping centres being offered to the market was underpinning strong sale results.
“The limited supply of centres both in Victoria and nationally is ensuring those that do come to market are achieving sharp yields,” he said.